On March 23, 2012 Ryann peed in the potty (she was just over 16 mths old at this point). I think this is more of a fascination for her than an actual potty-training event. She would pee in the potty every night before bed for about a week after that, but her interest has slowly dwindled as mommy became less and less inclined to take her diaper off and hoist her on to the potty everytime she grabbed her diaper and screamed "potty! potty." It's my fault, really. I just don't think I'm ready for my little one to grow up yet...
So every year the elementary school has a Christmas Program where the little ones perform for the community. Since Reiny's in preschool now, she got to be a part of it this year. I guess that this is one of the perks of living in such a small community, you can sing of Christ in school without any repercussions from any "politically correct" members of government chastising you on the 6 o'clock news. They also had a nativity scene made up of the elementary kids complete with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, wise men, and an angel (Reiny was a donkey). It melted my heart to see how hard Reiny was trying to sing out loud enough for us to hear her! I just feel so lucky to be a part of this great community!
You just turned 4! I still think of you as that brand new, adorable glow-worm I fell in love with on a snowy December morning.
You have become a beautiful young lady. You are so smart, funny, and loving that I can't even remember what life was like before you came along. This last year you've become such a wonderful older sister. Ryann absolutely adores you! You're a huge help to Mommy and "babysit" your sister more than I realize.
You know all your letters now and can write them as well (we're still working on the lowercase letters!)
You love to dance and sing, but mostly you love being "Mommy" to all your dolls and animals.
You play volleyball with Mommy a lot now. You can pass a ball as well as any junior high girl, and are learning how to spike the ball too.
I'm amazed by how smart you are! You are so observant and see and understand things that just don't seem possible for a 4 year old!
You went ice skating this year for the first time and loved it! You pushed that little walker around the ice and must have ran about 10 miles that night.
You love going to work with Daddy, driving in the semi, and changing water with Mommy in the summer.
You are getting braver everyday and are always willing to try new things, like swimming by yourself and putting your head under the water!
You are amazing! You are the light in my life, and love me even on my bad days. Thank you for being the wonderful little girl that you are! I love you so much...my heart is forever full with you in it.
This Thanksgiving we went to my parents' home to spend a little time with them. We always love going to New Mexico. It's so different from where we live and everytime we go we try something new. This time we took the kids to the Natural History Museum in Albequerque. Reiny loved the dinosaurs, but mostly loved this hands-on room where they had a huge sandbox with stamps made out of different animals' feet. She would stamp the sand and say "Mom, look! I just made a bunny track, or a fox track, etc."
We also went to the park close to their home. The girls love playgrounds and Reiny just had a ball! We only wish they were closer so we could see them all the time! Maybe some day...
Well, Jordan and I have amazing timing when it comes to planning our children's birthdays. Reiny and Ryann are about 2 weeks shy of being 3 years apart, which means we also get to have 2 birthday parties each year about 2 weeks apart! When they get older, they better get used to the idea of sharing party dates!!!
In any case, we had an amazing time celebrating Ryann's 1st birthday with a ladybug-themed party...complete with ladybug cake, and celebrating Reiny's 4th birthday with a princess-themed party...complete with castle cake made by yours truly! (side note: this will probably be my last attempt at a cake of this magnitude, but thank you Jess for the idea and cake pan!!!)
The pictures pretty well speak for themselves. We had an awesome time and had all of Jordan's family (minus April and fam) and some good friends, Jayde and Erin, to both the parties. The girls loved it and of course were spoiled beyond belief!
Ryann's Party-The Ladybugs
Reiny's Party-The Princesses (All the work was kinda worth it to see how much Reiny LOVED this cake!)
Today is your birthday. I'm not quite sure how I really feel about that. This last year went by way too fast. I know that everyone told me it would, but I guess I never really wanted to believe that would be true.
You have learned so much this past year: 1. How to roll, crawl, pull yourself up on furniture, and walk holding on to things. 2. How to stick up for yourself when Reiny wants what you have. 3. How to say "Yes, No-no, Uh-Oh, Wow, Kitty, Mom, Dad-dad, E-I-E-I-O, tickle" and a few others that sometimes sound right... 4. What a cow says "Mmmmoo"
You started off such a difficult little girl. You had your days and nights mixed up for about 6-8 weeks, which made for a very tired mommy. You never liked to nurse very much, always distracted by the cool things around you, and were grateful to give it up at 6 months when Mommy got sick and had to go on antibiotics. Mommy was the one that struggled with quiting far more than you did! She still has a twinge of guilt...not gonna lie! But, despite this difficult start to our relationship, you have become the reason I get up in the morning (mostly cus you get REALLY mad when I don't!).
You snuggle with me (as long as we have your blanky), give the best open-mouth kisses, and have the cutest laugh I've ever heard! You love to be naked (just like your Daddy:) ), and will crawl as fast as you can to escape my grasp after bathtime.
Your sister is your best friend, and your daddy is your hero. You light up everytime one of them enters the room.
You never fussed when you cut your 6 teeth this year, which makes me love you even more! You prefer to feed yourself, but humor mommy when she doesn't want to make a mess (which is most of the time).
You're delightfully unpredictable, and go with the flow in this crazy, hectic life we have together. There's a million other things you are, but most of all YOU ARE MY BABY, and always will be. I love you, Ryann Eliza.
This has really been the year for baptisms! In June, my nephew in Utah was baptised; then in the beginning of October, Jordan's nephew was baptised, and then just last week, our niece was baptised. Also, next Spring, my niece in Utah will take the plunge. Wow! What a year for it!
I really love baptisms, but this last one was really special. G-bomb asked me to give the baptismal talk at her baptism, which totally blew me away! I got searching through my own memorabilia from my baptism and then realized that G was getting baptised the exact same day as me, 20 years apart (now you all know how old I am!). It was a wonderful surprise, and something the two of us can always share.
I wanted to get a picture of all the cousins from the Whittaker side of the family, but getting all those little ones together is slightly more difficult than herding cats! Oh, well! Maybe next time!
First of all, Jordan and I love the show Modern Family. I swear that he is Phil and I'm Claire. After yesterday, I'm more convinced than ever that this is true!
I've been wanting to get a family portrait for a long time now...seeing as our last one was taken when Reiny was 19 mths old. I have given this a lot of thought and knew that I wanted an Autumn portrait with the yellow and orange leaves from the quaking aspens in the background. I picked the location and have been waiting patiently for the last few weeks for the leaves to change, the rain to stop, and basically for all the stars to aline for this one, fabulous family portrait.
Yesterday was that day. The rain had stopped and I could see in the distance that the aspen trees at my location had turned the perfect shade of yellow. I dressed the girls in their outfits that I scoured store after store looking for, and just before sundown we headed out to the spot. Surprise!!! The location was flooded!!! Apparently, someone has neglected to change the water along the Barrows house all summer! (and no...this time it was not Jordan's fault). Determined to make it work, I had Jordan arrange some logs to stand on and set up my tripod amidst the flooded foxtails. After lots of reminders to smile ("no, not like that! a pretty smile, please!), a baby that thought this was all too exciting and refused to hold still, and Jordan constantly telling me how hot I looked crouching down behind the tripod, I managed to snap a few descent photos. I think next time I'll just have us all roll around in the muck and mud and really have a good time with it all!!!
Jordan and I have been married 9 years, and have 2 beautiful daughters, Reiny and Ryann. We spend most of our time working on our business, Two Dot Irrigation, or on the family ranch, the Two Dot Ranch. When we're not elbow deep in pivots, pipe, and manure, we like to play with Reiny and Ryann and watch them grow and change.